Help with breast self-examination


We know that early detection is an important factor in the success of breast cancer treatment. While some studies have shown that breast self-exam does not reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer, it may help familiarise women with their normal breast tissue -which aids in identifying new or unusual changes in their breasts. Many experts believe along with regular mammography and clinical breast exams breast self-examinations can play an important role in early detection. As a younger woman, I did not do a breast self-exam routinely, but I did discover my breast lump accidently as my fingers brushed against it one evening.

I wonder how many women avoid breast self-exams because they are worried either about what they might find or are unsure if they are  doing them correctly. Now, an interesting  study, published in the American Journal of Health Promotion  has found that women who were given a counseling session and two follow-up phone calls were 10 times more likely to do the exams correctly.

Resarchers from Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research showed that with a relatively simple intervention, women can learn the proper technique, and “once they feel confident they will continue to do their exams.” said lead author Nangel Lindberg. “This is an excellent opportunity for women to participate in their own health care. Self-exams allow women to become familiar with their breasts, so they can report any changes to their health care provider.”

Source: PR Newswire


For information on how to perform a breast self-exam yourself, click here